uPflash: alchemy – poetry at the Black Sheep Whakamarama


Starting on Wednesday 11th April 2018 at the Black Sheep Whakamarama – spoken word poetry.  Check out Dhaivat’s video promo.



Join us every second Wednesday of the month,

6.00pm to 8.30pm

     at the

   Black Sheep Bar & Grill

Cnr SH2 and Plummers Point Road, Whakamarama

Read your own poems or poems by your favourite poet.   Enjoy the power of the spoken word!

Phone:   07 571 8722   021 145 5810


Here’s a poem I wrote as part of a set prompted by my work in the area of domestic violence. At the time of this incident the processes regarding the criminal prosecution of family violence matters were not as thorough and organised as they are today. The Criminal Court would often not be aware of the severity of an assault against a woman or a child and unknowingly immediately release “offenders” back into the community. With the client’s consent, we “appeared” with a group of Refuge Workers and shared with the Judge the reality of the assault and opposed bail. The “offender’s” lawyer was even more enraged than his client.  

I’d checked with two senior colleagues about the unconventional appearance I proposed. One eventually wrote to me and told me such an appearance was not permitted. On the day, the other, a longtime advocate of the rights of everyone, told me to just do it: it was a new Judge and he’d be too scared to stop me: and he was.   On the second occasion this matter was called, I again asked this lawyer what I should do.   He laughed and told me, the Judge had heard me the first time; he had therefore acknowledged the importance of the information, my standing and right to be heard.   Everyone, including me, owes a debt to unconventional, persistent and justice-focused lawyers like the late Colin Amery.


My friend pushes me hard against

the wall as he rushes past

“You’re a witch with a pack of dogs”

spits from his contorted face

The women in the courtroom

foyer are both surprised and

accepting of his violence

Together we have returned

his client to the cell of custody

we have thwarted bail

We have shown the reality to

the newly installed judge and

the lawyer didn’t like it

after all he is a man

and we are only women

witches and dogs

Rosemary Balu


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